New form of PLA seen as beneficial for application in hot food packaging

Researchers develop a more thermally resistant form of polylactic acid (PLA) plastic; provides clear, tough, and heat resistant material with the potential to expand PLA market application and reduce price

Bacardi launching biodegradable plastic bottle

Spirits manufacturer set to replace material used across its brands globally, first new bottles to reach markets in 2023; polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) based plastic reported to biodegrade across environmental compartments within 18 months

FPF Workshop 2020: Proceedings available

8th annual Food Packaging Forum workshop focuses on linking policy-making with scientific research to improve the safety of food contact materials; video recordings, presentation slides, and summary articles now available online

FPF Workshop 2020: Hazardous chemicals in FCMs

Stefan Merkel presents recent work of German Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR); Lisa Zimmermann discusses bioassay-based toxicity assessment of conventional plastics, bioplastics, and plant-based materials; Andrew Turner emphasizes presence of toxic brominated flame retardants in recycled plastics, uses of hazardous heavy metals in colored decorations applied to glass articles

15th European Bioplastics Conference

Annual event switches to entirely virtual format on November 30 through December 3, 2020; will feature range of speakers from across the bioplastics industry; offer networking opportunities with brands, policy makers, academic researchers

In vitro toxicity of bioplastics and plant-based materials

Scientists investigate in vitro toxicity of extracts from bioplastics and plant-based food contact articles; find strongest toxicity induced by cellulose- and starch-based products; emphasize similar toxicity profiles among bio-based, biodegradable, and conventional plastics

EEA briefing on biodegradable and compostable plastics

European Environment Agency (EEA) publishes report providing on overview of challenges and opportunities; includes introduction to relevant terminology, implications of use, and comparison of existing certifications; calls for clearer labeling and increased campaigns to inform consumers

Review of technologies for PHA production

Scientists review three main routes for polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) production, including microbiological, enzymatic, chemical; microbiological and chemical routes most favorable for scaling-up; remaining high costs compared to fossil-based plastics necessitate search for cheaper feedstocks, optimization of production efficiencies

Inorganic elements in PHA bioplastics

Scientists measure content and migration of inorganic elements from polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA); report higher levels in PHA produced from municipal waste and wastewater sludge fractions compared to PHA produced from fruit wastes; in all cases migration below set migration limits

Study investigates pace of bioplastic innovation

Clarivate report finds bioplastics still in early developmental stage, volume of filed patents increasing at same rate as other sectors; research focus being placed on improving mechanical properties to compete with petrochemical-based plastics